Author Topic: Don't know what to do about cousin's "business" - further question post #25  (Read 10090 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

TeamBhakta

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2650
If you want to do more, you could offer to help at craft fairs, so she can take a lunch break. Or drop her business card if you go into a shop that might sell her stuff.

The first one could lead to the cousin incorrectly assuming "We didn't make any sales. I bet it's because I the owner wasn't there for 20 minutes to work my magic / explain my story." The second one is kind of like having your mom call her friends and beg them to buy from your Pandora franchise.

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6131
Re: Don't know what to do about cousin's "business"
« Reply #31 on: June 24, 2013, 10:48:28 AM »
If I do have any other concerns, do you guys think it would be sensible for me to talk to her boyfriend? They've been together for a good 5 years, and I know him quite well. Before all of this, I wouldn't have thought twice about it, but I don't want her to think we're ganging up on her.

The best way to avoid the appearance of ganging up on your cousin is to stay out of it and NOT gang up on her.  Unless she is asking you to financially support her, you don't have a dog in this fight.  I would feel ganged up on and belittled if you said anything to me, and especially if you went to my BF.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30843
Re: Don't know what to do about cousin's "business"
« Reply #32 on: June 24, 2013, 11:18:17 AM »
I have to admit that there are things I've planned to do that I learned not to tell anyone about ahead of time, not because I think the plans are not sound, but because I don't want to give anyone expectations of me regarding them.  Since DH entered my life, I'll share with him my plans but with the caveat that he tell no one. I also have to admit I've had the bad habit of starting a plan (or talking about doing it) then not following through (and I notice a lot of people I know do this) so I prefer to either not share with anyone (or just share with DH) before the plan then share with everyone after it's over.


As an aside--may I share with you what I finally did about my 'bad habit of starting a plan and never finishing, or talking but not starting'?

I decided it wasn't a bad habit.

I decided it was simply how I entertained myself.

Other people build model railroads. Some people travel. Other people (even me) read books. Do those result in anything particularly practical?

No. But they *do* result in a great deal of entertainment and mental stimulation. People end up smarter, psychologically richer, more well-rounded. And they had fun. And now and then they find some little gem that actually influences something substantial in their own life.

So, I decided that it was OK to plan an entire wall full of bookshelves, and to research shelf supports, etc. It's OK to plan to start a business, and even research whether I might succeed.

But that I didn't HAVE to DO it. It was OK to say, "my hobby is making pipe dreams about things I'm not *really* going to do."

And I end up entertained and mentally stimulated. I end up smarter, psychologically richer, more well-rounded. And I had fun. And now and then I find some little gem that actually influences something substantial in my life.

(One other benefit--since I now think it's OK to invest a ton of time and mental energy ONLY, I don't anymore buy the supplies for my latest pipe dream, which I used to do because I thought I was obligated to follow through on any plan I make. Now that it's OK to NOT follow through, I don't waste as much money, AND I don't have a lot of "guilt triggers" around my house, making me feel bad about myself.)

MrTango

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2390
Re: Don't know what to do about cousin's "business"
« Reply #33 on: June 24, 2013, 11:37:39 AM »
If I do have any other concerns, do you guys think it would be sensible for me to talk to her boyfriend?

I wouldn't say anything to him either.  My advice would be to stay out of it entirely.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30843
Re: Don't know what to do about cousin's "business"
« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2013, 11:53:00 AM »
If I do have any other concerns, do you guys think it would be sensible for me to talk to her boyfriend?

I wouldn't say anything to him either.  My advice would be to stay out of it entirely.

And in fact, absolutely should you NOT say anything to her boyfriend. That would fall under "interfering in their relationship."

She's not doing anything illegal or anything that could suddenly damage her for life. Butt out.

Virg

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5881
faithlessone wrote:

"If I do have any other concerns, do you guys think it would be sensible for me to talk to her boyfriend?"

Do you?  Given that you yourself labeled him a "doormat" what would you hope to accomplish other than alienating your cousin a lot worse than you would if you just talked to her?  More importantly, what concerns might you discuss with him or even her?  Unless you're giving her money or her business impacts your life, I agree with TurtleDove that you don't have a dog in this fight, so you should really ask yourself why you'd want to talk to either of them about concerns surrounding their business.  Would you take advice from her about your own job satisfaction?  If not, why do you think she'd take it well if you gave her advice on hers?

It's certainly possible that the events in her life are making her leap before she looks, but it's just as possible that those events made her realize that she's got to go get her dream and she's never going to get "permission" from the rest of you.  I guess I just wonder why all of you are so worried about someone who isn't a child and has shown reasonable acumen with her life.  She's an adult and so it would serve all of you well to treat her like that.

*inviteseller wrote:

"Yes, my reply does sound harsh, but sometimes real life is harsh.  "

The problem with this attitude isn't that it's harsh, it's that it's pointless even to the point of counterproductive.  Someone who has decided to commit to the point of quitting her day job isn't going to hear "you're making a mistake" and decide to drop the dream and go back to her cubicle.  She's going to realize, quite rightly, that faithlessone isn't the one to make that call and she'll turn her back and continue.  The only purpose such an attitude will serve is to drive faithlessone's cousin away from her, no matter whether she succeeds or fails.  Given that faithlessone isn't financially invested in the operation and stands to lose nothing if her cousin's attempt fails, that makes such an attitude an awful idea because it will convince her to continue trying to get involved "for her cousin's own good", as evidenced by her asking us if talking to cousin's boyfriend is a good idea.

Virg
« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 12:40:51 PM by Virg »

courtsmad25

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 76
My husband is going through a similar notion where he wants to take over a tiny hardware store..it's small enough that it doesn't have a sign outside to advertise "hey there is a hardware store right here"!! I have a lot of choice words about the situation, however I want to possibly shine a light on your cousins mentality..

  She has learned very recently that life is short and you never know when you are going to die. She may have looked around her desk and thought "ugh, I HATE doing this and don't want to die knowing I've been stuck".. and decided to go for the gusto and do the job she feels that she is meant to do. More importantly that she isn't stuck doing something that wasn't fulfilling.

  Her finances may be as such where she can afford to take a year or two off while pursuing this dream. She may have decided that she didn't want to have to answer to a boss any more so she became her own boss. She may have the mentality of "I'm not going to get rich doing this, but it will be enough to pay the bills"..
  Stay out of this..and don't go to her boyfriend either, that is a discussion between those two. I truly wish her the best of luck and that her business takes off..  ;) I think my husband is nuts but I understand where he is coming from with those thoughts his self.

It's good to be Queen

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 849
I make jewelry too and take lessons from a person who is a full time jewelry artist.  Her pieces range from $40-$$$$.  She is extremely talented and SHE can't support herself just by selling her pieces.  She makes ends meet by teaching classes.  Your cousin has set a really hard path, but if she thinks this is her dream, I guess she needs to find out if it is viable.  My guess is she will decide in a year or two that she needs to go back to having a job to pay the bills, but in the meantime, there is no need to lie for her.  If someone ask you if she has quit her job, then you should just say yes and leave it at that. 

P.S.  I have a friend who is a musician and an accountant.  She decided to quit her accounting job and try to make a living as a musician.  She realized after a year or two that she was never going to support herself as a musician, but she found out a lot of musicians need an accountant that understands how to work with them and knows the tax laws pertaining to performing artists.  She was able to set up a successful niche accounting practice and still has a toe in that world.

cwm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2427
Should you talk to her boyfriend? Absolutely not. It's not your place to get in the middle of their relationship like that.

Should you tell your family she's quit her job. Again, absolutely not. Should you lie for her? Still, no. I wouldn't even tell the truth when asked. If someone asks you about her job, lightly mention that if they want to discuss cousin's job, the best person they could ask would be cousin.

Past that, I'd stay out of it. Be supportive of your cousin, regardless of what you actually think of her choices. If this is really the best choice for her, she'll follow it no matter what. If it's not, she'll hopefully come to realize that in time. In either case, there's no need to alienate her for making her own decisions.

faithlessone

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2731
Thanks everyone!!

I've decided I'm going to keep completely out of it. My concerns are my own business, and I'm not going to get in the way of her plans. If she asks me directly for my opinion, I'll be honest with her (that's our kind of relationship), but until then, I'll keep quiet and supportive.

About the boyfriend - as soon as I posted it, I realised how stupid it sounded. I don't want to get in the middle of their relationship, and there's no reason I should. I'll keep well clear.

Again, thanks for all your advice!

blarg314

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8506

I think that you're doing the right thing by staying out of it - she's already quit her job, so warning her that she's doing something monumentally unwise is a bit late, and won't have any effect anyways, given that she's already ignored the sensible advice.

But I do agree that she's making a mistake, and she'll have to learn the hard way. She may well gain important personal growth and life experience from the process, but yeah, she's doing it the hard way. But it's their life to live, and if they're willing to take the risk of ending up homeless because they can't pay the rent, then that's a decision she and her boyfriend have to make. They don't have kids, so they aren't harming any innocent people along the way.

Running a business and making a living at it is a really hard, really risky proposition, even for people who have a realistic outlook, good business skills, and the requisite two years of savings to cover them until they can hope to make a profit. Quitting your job to make a living at a home business when you have no savings, already have trouble making the bills, and have no real business plan, in an business that is highly oversaturated, and where even the most successful and talented people can't make a living at it... That's like quitting your job to write a book so you can become a bestselling author like JK Rowling and make loads of money.

As an aside,  I did a quick calculation.  if she can make $5 profit per item, after she pays for materials, packaging, shipping, advertising, and the cost of a booth or an online store, she will need to make and sell 50 pieces per week, every week, to hit the US poverty line for a single person.  She could pad her earnings by casual work, but that will mean she has less time to make jewelry, which puts her back in the position of making her living at another job and doing jewelry on the side, only with a worse salary and less job security.

 

LifeOnPluto

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6642
    • Blog
I would only talk to her boyfriend if you know she's withholding crucial information from him (such as draining their joint bank account to finance her business, or faking his signature to get a start-up loan, etc). But it doesn't sound like that's the case here. So I think you're doing the right thing saying nothing.

stitchygreyanonymouse

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 640
Thanks everyone!!

I've decided I'm going to keep completely out of it. My concerns are my own business, and I'm not going to get in the way of her plans. If she asks me directly for my opinion, I'll be honest with her (that's our kind of relationship), but until then, I'll keep quiet and supportive.

About the boyfriend - as soon as I posted it, I realised how stupid it sounded. I don't want to get in the middle of their relationship, and there's no reason I should. I'll keep well clear.

Again, thanks for all your advice!

I think you're making the right decision.

As others said, you would be interfering with their relationship.

Furthermore, her BF may be fully behind her choice, particularly if they've been together for 5 years.

He decided not to as it turns out he can continue working for his current company, but my SO and I discussed his changing careers recently. I just got job that has us moving out of state, so he was at a point where he needed to find something else (maybe). Ultimately, my new job could fully support us, and so I supported his desire to consider doing something he absolutely loves rather than what currently pays half our bills.

Your cousin could be in a similar situation but not wanting to discuss it with anyone, even close family. Long story short, neither of our families would have good things to say about my willingness to support my SO if he decided to take a lower paying job, so we didn't discuss that with them, nor would it have been open to discussion if he did decide to go that route. We would have to tell them once the decision was made and in effect, but there would certainly not have been any talk of our considering it beforehand.

JeanFromBNA

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2295
Thanks everyone!!

I've decided I'm going to keep completely out of it. My concerns are my own business, and I'm not going to get in the way of her plans. If she asks me directly for my opinion, I'll be honest with her (that's our kind of relationship), but until then, I'll keep quiet and supportive.

About the boyfriend - as soon as I posted it, I realised how stupid it sounded. I don't want to get in the middle of their relationship, and there's no reason I should. I'll keep well clear.

Again, thanks for all your advice!

One more bit of advice for those of you who dream of doing something else: I recommend "Quitter:  Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job."  http://www.amazon.com/Quitter-Closing-Between-Your-Dream/dp/0982986270/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1372189949&sr=1-1&keywords=quitter

aiki

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1194
  • We can't all have Pippa's backside.
Re: Don't know what to do about cousin's "business"
« Reply #44 on: June 27, 2013, 09:53:30 PM »

I decided it was simply how I entertained myself.

Heh. I have a similar attitude to my sewing hobby. I get a lot of enjoyment from the process of choosing fabric, working out how the pieces go together, learning new techniques and so forth.

Occasionally, I even get a garment I'd be prepared to wear in public at the end.

Of course, I'm not about to throw in my day job to pursue a career as a seamstress any time soon.
"A true gentleman is one who is never unintentionally rude."  - Oscar Wilde